GCUC Online


In lieu of a physical GCUC we decided to host GCUC Online for our community!

GCUC Online logo

GCUC Online was a one of a kind, one day event for the coworking community. We talked about how our industry will be affected by COVID19, health & wellness, air quality, technology, finances, black swans and more. Together we will not just survive, we will thrive.

April 21, 2020 Agenda

9:30 - 10:00 CST

Chat it up on Zoom

We’re going to say hello and check in with anyone that wants to join. Join us for a quick community check in before we get started. We want to hear how everything is in your world and we will update you on ours.

10:00 - 10:30 CST

Coworking, COVID and the Future

We can’t predict the future but we’ve all been in this industry for a long time and we’ve got some thoughts and ideas about how this will affect our industry.

Liz Elam - GCUC Carsten Foertsch - Deskmag Jean-Yves Huwart - Social Workplace & Coworking Europe
10:30 - 10:35 CST


This break brought to you by Workspace Geek, trusted, intuitive coworking and shared space workspace management software.

10:35 - 11:05 CST

Tech and Member Experience Survey – Enabling Technology

Essensys and Instant recently conducted a member experience survey. We’ll debut the results and share how you can use them immediately to help pivot your business.

James Shannon - essensys James Rankin - Instant
11:05 - 11:10 CST


Go grab a bite to eat, take a nap, do a dance… whatever you need to do. Just meet us back in 5 for the next session!

11:10 - 11:40 CST

Black Swans and COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and related global recession is a classic example of a Black Swan event, which are events with a low probability of occurring but having a big impact if they occur. Steve’s talk will cover Black Swans in general and the near and longer-term impacts of the pandemic and recession on the future of work

Steve King - Emergent Research Liz Elam - GCUC
11:45 - 12:40 CST

Lunch Break!

Go grab a bite to eat, take a nap, do a dance… whatever you need to do. Just meet us back at 12:40 for the next session.

12:45 - 1:15 CST

Resilient Leadership: Staying Centered While Sustaining Your Community

In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to tend to our own mental health. In this presentation, trauma therapist, Laura Shook Guzman, LMFT, will share how we, the leaders and community builders, can learn the practice of resilient leadership. To ensure that we are staying centered while staying connected, Laura will share 5 core strategies for creating change, within ourselves, that will forever impact the growth and sustainability of our coworking communities.

1:15 - 1:20 CST


Go grab a bite to eat, take a nap, do a dance… whatever you need to do. Just meet us back in 5 for the next session.

1:20 - 1:50 CST

Why the air you breathe matters

In this 20 minus discussion I will talk about air quality, particulate matter and the impact on health and well being as well as the emission sources, including traffic and industry. I will also address how this relevant information is getting factored into the built environment, where we live, work, play and stay.

Cynthia Seymour - Seymour Consultants
1:50 - 1:55 CST


This break brought to you by Workspace Geek, trusted, intuitive coworking and shared space workspace management software.

1:55 - 2:25 CST

Survival of the Fittest

Let’s talk about finance. I opened before the Great Recession. I was a guppy then – let me share my lessons.

Jerome Chang - Blankspaces
2:30 - 3:15 CST

Cocktail Break!

Grab a drink and stick around to socialize and share thoughts from today's sessions. Stay online and socialize!

Event Speakers

Laura Shook Guzman

Laura Shook Guzman

Women Who Cowork, SomaVida, Conscious Ambition

Laura Shook Guzman, LMFT is a thought leader for coworking, self-care and entrepreneurial mental health. She is on a mission, connecting with people all over the world, from entrepreneurs to corporate professionals, sharing a powerful message about the value of wellness, collaborative work and embodied living. As an accomplished psychotherapist, trauma specialist, and devoted community leader, Laura brings enormous expertise, insight, and energy to her work. An early adopter of coworking, Laura launched Soma Vida in 2008, making it the world’s first wellness coworking community of its kind. And, in 2016, Laura partnered with coworking thought-leader, Iris Kavanagh, to launch Women Who Cowork, a global supportive platform for femme-identified coworking founders.

Laura’s educational background includes a BA in Psychology from The University of Texas in Austin and a MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She has also completed advanced training in Somatic Experiencing and is currently licensed in the State of Texas as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

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Carsten Foertsch

Carsten Foertsch


Carsten is founder of Deskmag & conducts the annual Global Coworking Survey. He studied the situation of coworking spaces and their members for more than ten years. He doesn’t claim to predict the exact future of each coworking space. But he can do it much better than most other people & will share his insights with you.

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Cynthia Seymour

Cynthia Seymour

Growth Consultant for PropTech and FinTech

Working with tech start-ups and visionaries, Cynthia is delighted to share experience with entrepreneurs. She started her own company Care Navigate after the last economic meltdown and knows success takes execution, tenacity and reinvention in addition to great ideas.

Cynthia advises companies at the intersection of technology, real estate, sciences and financial solutions. On her last assignment she opened international subsidiaries for leading real estate brokerage eXp Worldwide.

Business sector experience spans data analytics, customer relationship management, human resources, ERP, biotech, healthcare, real estate, PropTech and FinTech.

Senior management positions at notable companies include Kindred Healthcare, Informix/IBM, Compaq and Zip2, an Elon Musk company.

Cynthia received double B.A. degrees in Economics and Spanish at UC Davis and has a master’s in Global Policy Studies from UC San Diego. She’s fluent in Spanish and has a penchant for global business, having launched dozens of products in North America, EMEA and APAC.

When she’s not working with leaders and teams, she composes poetry, music; plays piano and ukulele. Cynthia enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, surfing, being outdoors with family and friends.

Other Credentials:
Certified Nurse Assistant, California State Department of Health
Patient Navigator Accreditation, Sonoma State University

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Jean-Yves Huwart

Jean-Yves Huwart

SocialWorkplaces.com (Brussels)

Jean-Yves Huwart is the founder of the Coworking Europe conference, launched in 2010 as well as Coworking Africa, Coworking India and Social Workplace conferences.

He runs SocialWorkplaces.com, a consultancy firm focused on open innovation and new working models.

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Liz Elam

GCUC Executive Producer

A leader of the global coworking movement, Liz Elam blends a spirit of collaboration and innovation with an unwavering commitment to excellence and pushing boundaries.

Founder of the largest coworking conference in the world, Elam has grown the Global Coworking Unconference Community (GCUC) from inception to a cross-cultural go-to for the workspace industry in the U.S., South America, China, Canada, the UK, Australia and beyond.

Elam unapologetically pushes the coworking movement to adopt sound business practices and think bigger about the vision and impact individual operators and workspace brands can make. Her work to dismantle the loneliness epidemic through coworking and community-building resonates with space operators and members, alike.

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James Rankin

James Rankin

The Instant Group

James leads Instants’ growing research and insight team who focus both on primary industry research and turning Instants’ own market-leading data into actionable insight for the flexible workspace industry. James is an insight specialist who has worked across a number of B2B and B2C industries providing insight to both internal and external clients. James is seen as an industry data expert and provides information on industry trends at many conferences globally. As data and research becomes key to this growing segment of the CRE industry and demand for accurate data has grown, James has been pivotal in Instants’ move to support improved industry awareness.

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Jerome Chang

Jerome Chang


Jerome is a licensed architect, who designed and opened one of the 1st coworking spaces in the US back in 2008, BLANKSPACES in Los Angeles. He later co-founded the League of Extraordinary Coworking, LExC.co, in 2011, and remains an active officer as the original secretary and now treasurer. Formerly a structural engineer, he also really likes #’s, spreadsheets, and finance. Jerome has a master of architecture from Harvard, and master and bachelor degrees in structural engineering from Cornell.
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Photo of Steve King

Steve King

Emergent Research

Steve is a co-founder and partner at Emergent Research. He leads the firm’s research on the global trends and shifts driving the future of work and their impact on small businesses and independent workers. Steve is currently focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its short and long term effects on small businesses and independent workers. His ongoing areas of research include the rise of the gig economy and independent work, the impact of automation, A.I. and big data on work and workers, and the growing role of distributed work.

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James Shannon Photo

James Shannon


James Shannon is the Chief Product Officer at essensys. He has had a storied career as an entrepreneur and technology leader, and has a deep passion for applying his knowledge and experience to create innovative and inspiring products. His experience includes the development of large-scale cloud services, award-winning mobile apps, integrated smart devices and cutting-edge consumer hardware for leading global brands

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